Dali's New Home
David's DoggyDoor Experience
DoggyDoor • 3 December 2021
Est. reading time: 5 mins
Why did you want to introduce a pup into your home?
We've wanted a dog for ages (even decades) but had always reluctantly concluded that it would not fit with our lifestyle and would have been unfair to the dog; we were at work 40 hours/week and went on many overseas trips (mainly to visit friends and family in the UK). As I'm sure has been the case for many people, the ban on international travel and working from home because of COVID have provided an opportunity to continue with that stay-at-home lifestyle and use it as an opportunity to bring a puppy into the home.
But to say we just got a dog because COVID cooping us up at home has enabled it would be far too simple; what I think has happened to us is that we have started to value and enjoy a simpler, stay-at-home life and this change of perspective from our previous, pre-pandemic, life has allowed us to do what we have always wanted to do, which is get a dog. Subtle difference, perhaps, but I think it's important. Let's not kid ourselves; we will get back to international travel, undoubtedly next year, but by then, I think we will have laid the groundwork for ensuring that it is not a wrench for the dog.
What were your biggest concerns when looking for a breeder? And did DoggyDoor help alleviate these concerns?
This is the first time we have owned a dog as adults, so at first, it was really difficult to know how to approach breeders, how to connect with them, what they wanted to know about you, how to 'sell yourself' as a potential owner of one of their precious pups, whether they even welcomed being approached, what to ask them, how to discern their reputability or otherwise, whether it was best to get on a waiting list or buy once already born etc etc; in short, connecting with a reputable breeder in such a way as to give yourself a reasonable chance of securing a pup seemed a bit of a minefield at first.
I thought DoggyDoor really helped with this by providing an easy-to-use transparent interface within which to provide one's details and lay out one's credentials as a potential pup owner to breeders. I presume that DoggyDoor has consulted with breeders in designing the interface; i.e., by asking a number of them what they want to know about potential pup owners. The end result is that the potential buyer is providing the information that breeders want, so I thought DoggyDoor provided a very useful conduit through which to talk to and 'sell oneself' to breeders. In short, DoggyDoor made the task of connecting with breeders much more transparent and much less uncertain and fraught than it would have otherwise been. I think it provides a useful service.
What I particularly liked were the trainer modules. Going through a few of these was not only educational and reinforced one's learning from reading books (which we did quite a bit of) but it obviously sent a signal to the breeders of one's seriousness in wanting to own a pup. Not that the trainer modules were difficult or time consuming, but if I were a breeder, I would not take very seriously someone who could not be bothered to spend an hour or so going through a training module or two. I would be surprised if our breeder ended up selling a pup to anyone who had not completed the training modules she recommended people go through on DoggyDoor. It's a win-win really; you learn something, you send a signal of your intent, and the breeder sees that and takes you more seriously. Although simple, very clever, and not something I have seen on other sites or that is easily replicable by breeders working on their own (I would have thought).
How was your experience with your breeder?
Gretel was easy to communicate with, and so friendly, informative, helpful, and organised etc. Difficult to speak highly enough of her really. We communicated through DoggyDoor mostly, but as we got to know each other better, we tended to augment that with Zoom, email, SMS etc. Gretel always replied promptly, was always happy to answer questions, and she even installed Zoom so we could virtually visit the pups (at 6 and 7 weeks old, which was delightful and helped us choose our pup).
How would you describe your experience in using DoggyDoor throughout the entire process?
Really good. As I say above, the real value (I think) of DoggyDoor is that it channels one's communication with breeders in the right direction. Looking back, I guess it's true to say that the actual content of the communication that was made with the breeder through DoggyDoor could have just as easily been done by email, but I think that misses the point about DoggyDoor, which I see as an illuminating/illuminated gateway; it shows you the way to approach and inform breeders.
Another feature I really liked is that you could convert your DoggyDoor profile into a resume, which might have been useful had we not secured a pup through the breeder we connected with through DoggyDoor and had to look elsewhere.
It was also lovely of DoggyDoor to send a basket of gifts to celebrate the arrival of our new pup; a lovely surprise! (We drank the wine last night!)
Also, there is obviously some post-purchase customer service provision too; for example, it seems that DoggyDoor and the breeder have initiated the circulation of contact details of the littermates' owners (with permission) so that pups can meet their siblings again. These are very thoughtful touches and clever initiatives, obviously the product of people who know about dogs.
Generally, I'd recommend DoggyDoor, especially to new pup owners. That said, it's all about the breeder I think (a good one yields a good pup), and ours was/is excellent. If this is due to DoggyDoor only getting involved with excellent breeders (through their vetting process, say), that's obviously another reason for recommending them. Maybe we lucked out in our choice of breeder? I don't know. I do know that we found her through/with the help of DoggyDoor, so that in itself is reason enough to thank them, which I'm happy to do publicly.